Virginia Johnson

10/21/2015 - 3:16am
Drink the Harvest: Making and Preserving Juices, Wines, Meads, Teas, and Ciders

Sometimes, there is more in the garden or orchard than you can use up at the dinner table. The same might hold true if you tend to go a little wild at farmers’ markets or on your co-op order. What to do with the oceans of apples, bunches of mint, or the bushels of berries? Sure, there are pies, preserves, and other delightful things that might be made from the bounty, but another possibility is to take at least some of your harvest and bottle it.

10/20/2015 - 3:16am
Dr. Mütter’s Marvels: A True Tale of Intrigue and Innovation at the Dawn of Modern Medicine by Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz

Some people today fear going under the surgeon’s knife. It’s mostly a dread of the unknown. What might happen while they are knocked out, unaware of what is going on around them. They may not realize how fortunate they are. In Dr. Mütter’s Marvels, readers are swept back in time to a period before anesthesia was generally used. A good surgeon was a swift, careful cutter who could make the operation as mercifully short as possible for his wide-awake patient. He might even do some good for the patient in the process.

10/14/2015 - 2:02pm
Halloween: 101 Frightfully Fun Ideas from Better Homes and Gardens

You want to make Halloween sweet and spooky fun for your family. But you’re too clever (and too strapped for time and cash) to make a plan that will haunt your wallet and your sanity. You need Better Homes and Gardens’ Halloween: 101 Frightfully Fun Ideas.

10/12/2015 - 3:11am
The Door in the Hedge by Robin McKinley

We never outgrow fairy tales. It’s just that as we get older, we want there to be more to the story of a princess who kisses a frog. Who does that?! And what about those 12 dancing princesses? Couldn’t they do –anything- to keep each other from a terrible fate?

10/26/2015 - 11:35am

Brimming with the fruits of the harvest, the cornucopia has become an important symbol of American Thanksgiving. Its origins go further back in time to the ancient Greeks. According to their myths, young Zeus gave his foster mother Amalthaea a goat's horn that could be filled with whatever she wished.

10/01/2015 - 12:11pm

The first colonists at Jamestown found life on the swampy tip of an Indian hunting ground by the James River to be grueling and often deadly. The Virginia Company hoped to make a start in this new world that would ultimately bring profits to King James, the men who ventured there, and, of course, the Virginia Company itself. But the coming of “the Starving Time,” sometimes hostile tribes, and sickness turned a dream into a nightmare.

09/30/2015 - 7:47am
Grab Your Pumpkin, and Plan for Halloween Fun!

It’s time for hayrides, apples, and sweaters. And pumpkins. Can’t forget the pumpkins. What will you do with your pumpkin? Will you carve it into amazing shapes, paint it with swirls and maybe sparkle it with glitter? Or, will you turn it into a pumpkin pie?

Pumpkins are so much a part of all fall celebrations—and Halloween brings out our imaginations. For one night, you can pretend to be someone else brave or magical or silly or scary. 

Halloween is also a great time for a party! Whether you make it a just a bit frightening or create something calm and low-key, you can make it happen with cool crafts, stories, games, food and fun.

09/23/2015 - 7:19am
The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie

After reading CRRL librarian Joy O’Toole’s great write-up on Agatha Christie, I thought I’d give one of her series a try. I’m not sure why I had been avoiding them. I like British stuff, historical novels, and mysteries. But what I had glimpsed of Inspector Poirot and Miss Marple did not immediately grab me. I decided to try one of her lesser-known series, Partners in Crime, which starts with The Secret Adversary.

Friends since childhood, charming, young, and starving Tommy and Tuppence meet at a London tea shop to catch up, only to discover that they both face the same problem—chronic unemployment! In London after the Great War, there aren’t a lot of jobs to be had, so for the price of an advertisement in the newspaper, they decide to create The Young Adventurers, Ltd., a firm that will take on very nearly anything.

10/13/2015 - 9:42am

Get the creepy crawlies with R. L. Stine. He's a master of conjuring things that go bump in the dark—and lurk in dark waters. In The Curse of Camp Cold Lake, Sarah has found a way to get even with her mean bunkmates, but she's the one who's in for a shock. Think you're beyond all that? So did Courtney. She tells everybody how brave she is, and Eddie is tired of it. He knows there's one thing she is afraid of. The monsters at Muddy Creek. Too bad for Eddie that Courtney is right again in You Can't Scare Me

Welcome to R.L. Stine's world. It's easy to make friends here. But they're usually the wrong kind of friends.

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